Bright Sun & Stream Crossings
Beautiful weather this year made for enjoyable riding, though the sun and warm temperatures took their toll on riders. This was especially evident in how far riders were spread out at the finish, not so much because of different riding speeds as it was due to many riders being tempted to take more and longer breaks as the day wore on. A higher percentage of riders finished after dark than normal, and a number didn't cross the state line, some packing it in after they had reached the 200-mile mark. The day before the ride the forecasted tailwind drifted away, but the breeze was not unfavorable, being mostly a crosswind. Riders benefitted from the summer clouds that drifted in around midday, cutting the glare of the sun.
A detour due to a bridge replacement just north of Weston was the big news of the ride. Luckily, another expected detour in Waitsfield evaporated when the bridge closing that would have neccesitated it was postponed to the day after our ride. The detour in Weston took riders up a steep hill and onto a dirt road. In the dappled sunlight, potholes in the heavily traveled dirt became invisible and one rider found himself skittering off the road into the grass after hitting a bumpy section at the end of a steep descent. Another group tried to cross the bridge under construction and, when permission was denied for them to walk across the bridge, they decided to portage the stream, instead! They reported that the cool water on their feet was an unanticipated bonus, in addition to avoiding the climb on Priory Hill Rd.
Brian M: I was concerned going into the ride that success would depend on whether I could match up with a group of riders to share the work and support each other. I did enjoy and appreciate riding with others but in the end I rode 80% of the ride alone.
When I reached the top of the Mt. Snow climb I misinterpreted "you will finish the ride" as "your work is done". This was a mistake as there was still some riding to do and hills to climb.
My son and his friend were my support and I absolutely benefitted from their help, especially with respect to nutrition and hydration.
I REALLY enjoyed the experience, am proud of my accomplishment, and hopefully will be back next year as a 66 year old!
David V: It was fantastic. Rode with a core group of 6 (Rings Island Rouleurs) out of Newburyport, MA, but we grew into the Mass 9. If we can muscle the willpower to do it again next year, we may opt for an earlier start and much shorter pit stops. We called it at 200 miles due to dark roads and fast drivers in So. VT. Thanks so much, was a great experience and loved being with all riders who stayed at the Readsboro Inn. Fantastic hosts
Lindsay McG: We formed The Ridiculous --all battled valiantly finishing in style in the pitch dark at 11pm on the border. Thanks for organizing, memorable and to be repeated, on a different stop strategy...
Jim L: It was a great ride - very scenic. I did miss a turn in Ludlow and added an additional 9 miles onto the route (for 218 total miles). Our fault, but thankfully our sag wagon tracked us down before we really got lost.
Jim P: I chose to ride this solo and self-supported to see how I'd fare. I learned a lot! I cruised through 130, but things got difficult thereafter. I reached my limits and had to stop and lay down several times, wondering if I'd be able to rise and continue. I soldiered on, stopping on the last two climbs before ingesting a Pepsi in Dover. The refreshment and downhills enabled me to finish feeling pretty good.
This was a ride to remember!
Jim C: This was a unique, challenging and thrilling ride in more ways than one. It was my first double century and it will be full of stories I'll be telling for the rest of my life. From the start at the border, to the great towns along the way, to the river crossing in barefoot with the bike on one shoulder and my shoes and socks in my other hand (not to mention the hike through the grass after the river crossing) to the steep pitched section on Terrible Mountain and the torturous last two miles of the Mt. Snow climb...this was a classic. I've done many of the passes in Colorado but the steep pitches on these climbs were tougher (particularly at 145 or 180 miles).
As soon as I heard about this ride from Ted Nelson I wanted to do it. There is an elegance to the concept of 200 miles on Highway 100. You have something special here. Also, the small number of riders and the self-supported nature make it feel even more thrilling. I don't know if we'll do it next year or not but I would love to do it again.
Steven E: It was my first time doing the ride along with a couple friends. We had a great ride. We met some nice folks along the way. We did stop more than planned so we finished later than expected, but at least we finished before it was completely dark out.
Mike S: I enjoyed the challenge of the ride and the extreme sense of accomplishment from completing it. The strong sun was perhaps one of my toughest barriers of the ride. Having embarked on the ride on my own, it was great to ride on an off with a number of riders, leapfrogging through the day. I'd shoot for keeping the stops shorter on future rides like this. I'd love to explore more of Vermont on bike - perhaps an all backroads length of Vermont in one day ride!?!
Bill A: It's not all down hill to Readsboro from the top of Mt. Snow...:-) Can't wait for next year!!!
Andy P: Terrible Mountain lived up to it's name!
Rode the better part of the ride solo.
Could not have done this with out my daughter Andrea providing SAG for me!!!!!
John P: I didn't finish but will be back to try again
Henry F: I need to be much better organized about stops as they inhaled time!
The 2016 stats (these are very weak numbers, as befitting a ride without rules):
- Starters: 25-ish
- Finishers: Most
- First finisher: around 6:20 pm
- Last finisher: 10:45pm
- Fastest Finisher: Not sure, but likely Tom, at under 11:45
- Elevation gain: 12.218'
- Highest point: 2,408'
- Total distance: 209 mi (337 km)
The ride comes early in the year, arriving before many cyclists are in condition for a hilly double-century. Start training now and plan to join us next year. You'll be rewarded by being in amazing shape for the rest of the season!
Previous Year's Ride Reports